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January 20, 2020
So I recently did a bit of research on what the most common difficulties most homeowners face, and I kept coming across the cost of home improvements and repairs.
In fact, I even discovered that 3 out of every 10 homeowners do not have any money set aside for home repairs- but I’m willing to go out on a limb here and say that almost 100% of home owners will someday have to make a repair. And a lot of people want to make improvements, remodel, redecorate, update, you name it!
I’ve been there too, and I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how to make sure those improvements (and inevitable repairs) don’t destroy your budget!
My Top Five Tips to Prevent Home Improvements & Repairs from Breaking the Budget
If you are in the process of purchasing a home, make sure you get a thorough home inspection. And if you have been in your home a long time, and genuinely don’t know where to start, or are concerned that you might be facing some serious issues, you can also order a home inspection! A home inspection simply gives the person requesting it a detailed report on the condition of the home. From windows, to walls, to roofing, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc., this report will give you a heads up on what repairs are imminent, and what may be coming down the road in the next couple of years.
Or, if you don’t want to go so far as hiring a home inspector, you can always meet with a handy man or a contractor and come to a similar result. The important thing here is gathering information about your home so you have an idea of what to expect. Knowing this will give you a baseline on how to set up a budget for future repairs.
And a word of caution to people ordering inspections as part of a home purchase: If you’re able to negotiate a lower sale price in exchange for the seller not having to make repairs on the home you’re buying, SAVE THAT MONEY. Those repairs that came up in your report will still need to be made, and the money you saved on the purchase should be set aside for when you need to make that repair.
This can be a great way to save money on common repairs. With a home warranty, you an annual rate for warranty coverage on your home. Depending on the plan, this can include appliances and even some plumbing. For example, when I bought my first home, I had a leak and some water damage from a faulty disposal in the kitchen sink. But I had a home warranty in place! So I called, and simply paid a $25 service fee, rather than the $175 repair that I would have had to pay for. Now, I will say that you need to do your due diligence and make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. It needs to make sense for you, for the age of your appliances, etc. But this can be a big money (and time!) saver.
You can purchase a home warranty yourself, but this is also something you can ask for from the seller when negotiating the purchase of a home. Either way, paying a service fee vs racking up repeated repair costs is a great way to save money.
Did you know that only 10% of people who see physical damage from a home repair actually act on it right away? This is craziness!! If you can see physical damage, that usually means the problem NEEDS to be fixed. If you act quickly, you prevent further damage. If you don’t act quickly, you run the risk of more damage occurring. More damage means more money out of your pocket.
For example, if you see a water leak and think, “oh, it’s just a drip” that drip can turn into a burst pipe, or even worse, something like black mold! Then you get into dealing with insurance… eeek!
At the very least, have someone come look and tell you the extent of whatever the damage may be, and what the chances are of it getting worse. It’s better to suffer a little bit in the short term and get something fix than be in deep water if you let it go too far!
Are you handy? Great!! You’re already a step ahead. And even if you’re not, maybe head to google and see if you can learn how to make small repairs yourself. Often, things that seem really complicated are not too hard, and you can find instructions online for just about anything!
My advice: Look up how to do it yourself before you go shopping for a handyman.
Do research when it comes to professionals, and get multiple quotes! And this is advice that I think applies to just about any large purchase! Especially if you are looking for a specific service. It’s great to educate yourself on the cost of goods and services, and then you can make informed decisions that work with your budget.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal! I recorded an entire video about the benefits of asking- make sure to check that out here: https://youtu.be/cE3Ki_MD9xg
Lizy Hoeffer NMLS ID # 260183. AZ LO-0913409 I am authorized to conduct business in the state of Arizona. All loans subject to underwriting approval. Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. THIS SITE IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES. PHONE NUMBERS DISPLAYED ARE NOT FOR USE BY NEW YORK BORROWERS. NO MORTGAGE SOLICITATION ACTIVITY OR LOAN APPLICATIONS FOR PROPERTIES LOCATED IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK CAN BE ACCEPTED THROUGH THIS SITE. CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. NMLS1925878, 3100 West Ray Road, Suite 201 Office 212, 218, 219 & 228, Chandler, AZ 85226 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
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